A Department of PreCrime in Gold Medal Comics, Up for Auction
Like the similar 128-page giant Star Studded Comics that we recently covered, the obscure 1945 Cambridge House Publishers release Gold Medal Comics has a whopping 24 interior stories that are worthy of more attention. There’s a stand-out cover likely by Mac Raboy, and a lead story featuring the character Captain Truth by artist Bob Fujitani. But the crime/science fiction hybrid Crime Detector is also worthy of more attention. Similar to the 1956 short story The Minority Report by Philip K. Dick, this 1945 tale features authorities that come to rely on a method of predicting crimes, and apprehending would-be criminals before they can commit them. Gold Medal Comics also contains a Hopeless Henry short which is among the earliest comic book work of noted humor artist and animator Howie Post. An obscure but fascinating Golden Age giant comic book, there’s a Gold Medal Comics #nn (Cambridge House, 1945) Condition: GD/VG up for auction in the 2022 June 5-6 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122223 from Heritage Auctions.
Little is known about Cambridge House Publishers. The company put out three one-shot titles, Star Studded Comics, Gold Medal Comics, and the standard-format Hurricane Comics. The material for these comic books seems to have been assembled by Bernard Bailey Studios. Like a number of publishers from outside of the comics industry in 1944 and early 1945, it’s likely that Cambridge House used their wartime paper quota to take advantage of the hot comic book market of the time. The War Production Board began to clamp down on such practices throughout 1945.
Interestingly, Cambridge House had some other loose connections to the comic book industry. This seems to be the same publisher that put out a dizzying array of how-to books, many of which were by industry veteran and DC Comics writer/editor Robert Kanigher. These included How to Make Money Writing for Comics Magazines, How to Make Money Writing for the Stage, How to Make Money Writing Popular Books, How to Make Money Writing for Radio, How to Make Money Writing for Newspapers and Magazines, Where and how to Sell Your Manuscripts, and probably others. They also published A Guide To Intimate Letter Writing and Private Letters of the World’s Great Lovers by Jeanne Georgette, the latter of which was advertised in comic books.
The Crime Detector story in Gold Medal Comics features a computer, Predicto, which seems to be able to read people’s thoughts, thus seeing if they intend to commit a crime. The issue has a wide range of material that includes superheroes, crime, horror, humor, and more, and there’s a Gold Medal Comics #nn (Cambridge House, 1945) Condition: GD/VG up for auction in the 2022 June 5-6 Sunday & Monday Comic Books Select Auction #122223 from Heritage Auctions.